No wage loss for quarantined workers

6. 03, 2020

An agreement has been struck between unions, employers and the government to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Iceland. It secures people’s livelihood while they follow governmental instructions on quarantine.Many workers have gone into quarantine, which means they can’t go to work, and which limits their contact with others. This is a significant disruption to their daily life. The quarantine measures are a major element in containing the spread of the virus. To make it effective, workers must be guaranteed their wages while in isolation.All parties have therefore agreed to the following:

  1. The employers’ association will direct its members to pay quarantined workers.
  2. The confederation of labour will direct unions to secure full payment from sickness funds after their sickness rights have been exhausted.
  3. The government will pave the way for health insurance legislation to allow employers with quarantined workers to apply for compensation up to a specified limit, with conditions, for instance that the worker in question is not able to work from home. The aim is to work out the detail of these measures by March 13.

Sick days will not be used up while in quarantine, but union health funds must be prepared to accept those who get ill and exhaust their claim on the funds for that reason.